ARROZ BLANCO (Mexican white rice, for four)
2 cups long-grain, basmati white rice
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium white onion, in ¼ inch dice
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1. Measure rice into a fine-mesh strainer and place into a bowl of cold water to soak for 30 minutes. Remove sieve from water and drain rice for 20 minutes. (Soaking and drying the rice thoroughly are important to remove the starch from the kernels before cooking. Otherwise, your rice may be gummy.)
2. Heat oil in a 3-quart, heavy saucepan with a close-fitting lid. Saute the onion and garlic for 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring, then add the rice and saute, stirring, for 2 minutes more, until the kernels are well coated with oil.
3. Stir in chicken broth, water and salt (Do not stir again until rice is finished). Bring to a boil and continue boiling 8 minutes, until surface of rice is dry and covered with steam holes.
4. Reduce heat to lowest possible setting, cover pot tightly (use both a tea towel and lid) and cook 15 minutes.
5. Turn off heat and let rice stand, still covered, 5 minutes more. Remove cover and fluff rice with a fork.